Looking to visit Europe but are unsure where you would like to go? It can be quite overwhelming at times given the many fantastic options that this continent has to offer. So if you are looking for ideas then why not read along and see if I can convince you to consider one of the fantastic destinations on my four European cities that should be on everybody’s travel list-I hope that you enjoy!
Cool, vibrant, creative, artistic, seductive, cultured, diverse, classical, dramatic, dynamic- WELCOME TO VIENNA!
By far one of the most popular places to visit in Europe and with good reason. Austria’s capital is a cultural hub for those who are seeking an air of sophistication to compliment a cool ambience.
Baroque architecture lines the beautiful boulevards and streets where imperial palaces reside alongside museums and a wealth of history in a city that has become as well known for its coffee house culture as its artistic and intellectual legacy.
Flawless style runs throughout the city where an alternative and creative vibe flaunts itself over chic, independent boutiques, art shops and cafes, in one of the many cool neighbourhoods that reside throughout Vienna.
Whilst the city’s unrivalled style will keep you captivated, the endless attractions like Schönbrunn and Hofburg Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, MuseumsQuartier and the world renowned Wiener Staatsoper opera house will do more than hold your interest as they provide layers of history and culture to a city that seems to effortlessly compliment the past with the present.
Few cities seem so capable of combining styles as effortlessly as Vienna. So whether you come for the food, fashion, culture or the history, it really doesn’t matter because Vienna pulls you in from the first moment that you arrive and has you longing to return long after you have left!
Reaching and getting around Vienna
U-Bahn, S Bahn, bus and trams provide great and efficient ways of making your way around Vienna. You can also walk around most of the central attractions whilst cycling is also a great way to see what the city has to offer. The city is serviced by an international airport located 11 miles southeast of central Vienna and getting to and from the airport is straight forward with plenty of transport available to those who are looking for a more cost effective way than taking a taxi. You can take the city airport train (CAT) costing €12 which takes around 15 minutes, or the public Scnellbahn S7 at a cost of €3.90 with an average travel time of 25 minutes. Buses are also available and a viable money saving option when trying to reach the city centre.
3 things that you might not have known about Vienna
1) Vienna technically resides in two separate climate zones. It’s located right at the border of the moderate middle European transitional climate and the drier Pannonian zone.
2)The snow globe was invented in Vienna. In 1900 Erwin Perzy was investigating ways to improve the brightness of the recently invented electronic bulb, but instead accidentally ended up creating the snow globe.
3 Vienna has been ranked the most liveable city amongst the 140 cities surveyed by The Economist Intelligence Unit for the second year in a row.
Situated in central Italy and the capital city of the Tuscany region, lies Florence(Firenze).
Few cities possess the allure and romance that accompany this part of Italy that not only becomes more irresistible the longer that you spend in its presence, but makes you question why it ever took you so long to visit in the first place.
Flattering upon every turn, renaissance architecture and art grab the plaudits and rightly so. Palaces and cathedrals line themselves along a tangle of cobblestone streets, whilst the the Uffizi and an array of world class gallery’s are home to some of the worlds finest paintings and sculptures that include pieces from Botticcelli and Michelangelo to name a few.
Although at first glance it might appear that beauty, architecture and art reign supreme, fashionistas will not be left disappointed as Florence is home to Gucci, Ferragamo, Pucci and Cavalli, whilst other high end fashion outlets litter the streets alongside smaller boutique shops helping to make it one of the most fashion conscious cities in Europe and the world.
It’s not all style over substance though as there is plenty to do in Florence that will keep you more than occupied. The striking Duomo takes centre stage, whilst the cluster of streets in the surrounding areas are a hive of activity with cafes, bars and restaurants adding a vibrancy to the beautiful surroundings. Piazzale Michelangelo offers a breathtaking vantage point over the city and is a place that you will not want to miss. Especially as day turns to night, where upon doing so you will be able to marvel in the views of late evening Florence before making your way over to one of the city’s restaurants and letting your hair down as you sample some exquisite, Tuscan cuisine and wine, whilst embracing the Florentine lifestyle.
Reaching and getting around Florence
One of the great things about Florence is its compact size and accessibility. The city is best explored on foot and has an airport located just a short distance outside of the city. Pisa and Bologna are less than an hour away on the train and are both serviced by their own airports meaning that you have plenty of options available to you. Flights to Pisa, especially from here in the UK are generally cheap. So it is worth checking to see availability if you are thinking of visiting Florence. You also get the added bonus of being able to visit Beautiful Pisa!
3 things that you might not have known about Florence
1)The city’s beautiful cathedral Duomo took 140 years to build. Work begun in 1296 and was completed by 1436.
2)The popular, Italian frozen dessert- Gelato, was invented in Florence.
3 Carlo Collodi the author of the world famous book Pinocchio was from Florence.
Once upon a time the best kept secret in Europe this delightful Belgian city also known as “The Venice of the North”, is now a major tourist hub attracting millions of visitors each year.
Strolling through the streets of Bruges is an absolute delight as the architecture and whimsical beauty of the intricate streets and bridges is a sight to behold.
Bubbling with personality, grand squares are a hive of activity and full of life, whilst streets laced with cafes, bars, boutique shops and restaurants line up alongside imposing architecture, canals, romantic courtyards and secluded passageways.
Waffle houses and chocolate shops are a haven for those with a sweet tooth, whilst artistry and history run deep in Bruges with Michelangelo’s world renowned Madonna and Child sculpture and the Basilica of the Holy Blood adding substance and layers of cultural significance to a medieval town that is more than just a fairytale setting.
But for all its charm and innocent beauty, it is at night time where Bruges really tugs on the heart strings when it casts more than just a flirting glance your way as the late evening lanterns light up and this little delight goes from being pretty to achingly beautiful!
Reaching and getting around Bruges
Due to being so compact, Bruges is best explored on foot. Everywhere is accessible by either walking or cycling. The nearest airport is Brussels national Airport, located approximately 70 miles to the east of Bruges. Trains run regularly from Brussels airport to Bruges, with approximately 72 making the journey every day and tickets starting from €16.30 when you book in advance.
3 things that you might not have known about Bruges
1)There are more castles per square inch than any other country in the world. About 50 of the 470 castles in the Flanders region are based around Bruges.
2)Bruges has over 80 bridges making it easy to navigate its many canals and helping to earn it the nickname ‘Venice of the North’
3)Belgian’s superhighway system which stretches all the way out to Bruges is the only man-made structure on Earth that you can see from the moon.
Brighton & Hove
Brighton has long been a popular destination to visit in the UK. Perched upon the south coast of England and only a short journey away from London, making it the perfect seaside getaway for those that are looking to escape the city for a long weekend.
Colourful, vibrant, with an offbeat personality, this charming seaside resort offers an alternative charm that seems to endear itself to those who visit and keeps them coming back for more.
From the intricate beauty of the Lanes shopping streets to the cool collection of shops, fashion outlets, pubs and neighbourhoods, Brighton sets itself apart and is very different from anywhere else that we have here in the UK.
Foodies are also in for a treat as Brighton is known for being one of the culinary hotspots in the UK. There are more restaurants in Brighton & Hove than anywhere else in the country with a ratio of 1 restaurant for very 250 people, making Brighton a delight for all food enthusiasts.
Best enjoyed during the summer when the pier and seafront are brimming with activity and you are able to enjoy long evening strolls along the beach with an ice cream in hand accompanied by the beautiful weather.
Reaching and getting around Brighton & Hove
Walking or cycling are your best two options for navigating your way around Brighton. Whilst London Gatwick is the nearest airport and is a 30 minute direct train journey away from Brighton Train station. London is also only a 45 minute train ride away meaning that Brighton also makes a great day trip for those looking to visit from the capital.
3) Things that you might not have known about Brighton & Hove
1)8,000,000 people visit Brighton every year with 6,500,000 people visiting as day trippers.
2)Over 50% of States in America have at least one Brighton.
3)Over 40% of Brighton & Hove is declared as National Park.
So those are my four European cities that should be on everybody’s travel list. Have you visited any of these cities? Are any of them on your current travel list? Let me know in the comments.
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